Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ginger Cream Meringues with Berries

The idea for individual meringue desserts came from the August 2008 issue of the Canadian Living magazine. I made these using a pavlova recipe I got from my friend Herta many years ago. While making these mini meringues I was reminded of elementary school days, living in Brazil, where a certain corner store on my way home from school sold the best hard baked pink meringues. For 5 cents, I was the richest and luckiest girl on the street while I slowly enjoyed the melt in your mouth sweetness.  While these dessert meringues here don't come out as dense, but rather soften into a marshmallow texture with the toppings on them, I still enjoy the light and airy consistency, especially combined with the custard and berries. This is also another delicious gluten free option.

A bit of trivia included about the blueberries:
Blueberries are Canada’s number 1 fruit crop in terms of crop area and they are as Canadian as maple syrup! Enjoy them when in season and freeze them for the winter.

Meringues:
  • 4 egg whites (save yolks for custard)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 c sugar
  1. Beat egg whites and salt until frothy, then add lemon juice, vanilla and cornstarch.
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating until very stiff (5 - 10 minutes)
  3. Line a large cookie sheet with foil (shiny side down) or parchment paper. With a large serving spoon, form six to eight 3 inch in diameter mounds; then, using back of spoon, swirl into nests.
  4. Bake at 250 F for approximately 75 min. Then turn oven off and leave in the oven for an hour or two to cool down. Can be made the day ahead and stored in a zip lock bag in the fridge.
Custard:
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 1 piece ginger root, (1 - 2 inches) peeled, sliced thinly
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (to whip and blend in later)
  1. In small saucepan, heat 1 ½ milk with ginger over med heat until bubbles form around edge; remove ginger. If you prefer to omit the ginger, it is good just as a vanilla custard too.
  2. In bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and ¼ cup milk; blend yolks in well, then another ¼ cup milk and vanilla. Use a tad more if not using ginger.
  3. Stir into hot milk and cook over med heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until cool. Whip cream, then fold into cooled pudding. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made a day ahead.
Berry Topping: (approximate amounts)
  • 3 cups blueberries (can add in blackberries and/or raspberries)
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  1. Put berries in medium pot with a tad amount of water if berries are fresh; if frozen no need for water. 
  2. Bring to boil on low to medium heat while stirring in sugar and cornstarch blended well with 1/4 cup water. Stir as needed until it bubbles. 
  3. Simmer for a few minutes on low until juices run clear. Adjust flavor to personal preference with sugar and/or lemon, depending on sweetness of berries. Cool. At this point you can also add in fresh strawberries.
To serve:
A few hours before serving, scoop a generous amount of custard mixed with whipped cream on top of each meringue. Return to fridge until ready to serve.  Just before serving, place on individual dessert plates, using a large spatula to lift. Top with berries.


6 comments:

  1. Looks so good! I was going to post my pavlova recipe today. I'll wait for another time, and make it slightly different. Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can post it, Kathy! I'm sure it's different anyways. I was also debating about this the last couple of days, because it looked so much like Lovella's recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh Anneliese. I am glad that you posted this. It looks divine. At this time of the year we need lots of variations 'on the theme' of berries and using them fresh is the best way. Thanks. AND...beautiful pic! Hmmm....my family thinks we are becoming just as good photographers as bakers! GRIN!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kathy, I have to add, that you have the cutest grandkids . . . well, just as cute as mine, anyways! They were here when I served these meringues for the staff BBQ. (I doubled the recipe a couple of times) Your son-inlaw took very good care of them; I was sorry Adrienne had to miss.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They do have 2 beautiful little kids, and we adore them. We had the little princess for night, and they all came over for blueberry pancakes this morning. Sounds like you had afew Dad's with their kids at the staff party. Adrienne would have loved to have been there. Kathy PS I just took your stir bread out of the oven and it smells and looks so good. I have borsch on the go and will mix up Marg's health buns in a few minutes. ( I picked up fresh ground whole wheat and 7 grain at an organic mill yesterday). Funny how the rain brings on the urge to cook up a storm. Still debating on the pavlova. (for 35 guests at a BBQ tomorrow YICKS!)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This looks wonderful...and a perfect dessert for those times when my friend with celiac disease comes to visit.

    ReplyDelete